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'Ave You Got A Male Assistant Please Miss?

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'Ave You Got A Male Assistant Please Miss? (1973) - courtesy of the BFI

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The Magazine's sex education film festival

Each day this week, the Magazine is charting how attitudes to sex education have changed by featuring a classic public information film of its time. The fifth and last excerpt in our series on sex education films is from 1973's 'Ave You Got A Male Assistant Please Miss?.

This film marks a major step forward for the British sex education film.

Coming out the year after Alex Comfort's famous manual The Joy of Sex, beards are the order of the day.

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Sex
The Magazine's sex ed film festival
Five excerpts from films from the BFI's DVD The Joy of Sex Education - one a day for a week. The films so far:

The protagonist, who heads out on a quest to buy condoms, has plenty of head and face hair, but the chemist he meets has a truly extraordinary level of hirsuteness. This guy makes Jerry Garcia look shorn.

Compared with other films of the era, this effort tries vigorously to be forward-looking.

The central message is an encouragement to buy condoms accompanied by a reminder about the number of abortions that happen every year.

"This is an unreservedly hairy promotion of the prophylactic in avoiding unwanted pregnancies," says James Piers Taylor, curator (non-fiction) at the BFI National Archive.

"A wave of period details situate the film in both time and milieu. The culture of its audience, 1970s students, is evoked and displayed via a mattress on the floor, an ethnic rug, the kilim bedspread, homebrew jars, denim clothes and by hair."


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